NTSB Identification: FTW89FA136.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42159.
Accident occurred Sunday, July 16, 1989 in HOUSTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/1992
Aircraft: PICCARD AX-6, registration: N85DP
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE BALLOON FAILED TO ESTABLISH A CLIMB AND CLEAR A SET OF POWER LINES DESPITE THE FACT THAT, ACCORDING TO WITNESSES, THE PILOT ACTUATED THE BURNER REPEATEDLY. WHEN IT STRUCK POWER LINES, A TANK EXPLODED, AND THE BASKET WAS RELEASED AND CONSUMED BY FIRE. INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE DEFLATION SYSTEM HAD NOT BEEN ACTIVATED PRIOR TO THE WIRE STRIKE. ALSO, THE ENVELOPE WAS IN POOR REPAIR, WHICH DECREASED ITS EFFFICIENCY. THE PRIVATE BALLOON PILOT HAD ACCUMULATED A TOTAL OF 9 HOURS AS PIC OUT OF A TOTAL OF 24.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO ABORT THE ATTEMPT TO CLEAR THE OBSTACLE. FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE POOR CONDITION OF THE BALLOON ENVELOPE AND THE PILOT'S LACK OF EXPERIENCE AS PILOT IN COMMAND OF BALLOON OPERATIONS.

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